On The 4th Day: The Social and Digital Media Train is Leaving the Station - Get Aboard!

SM SIG 12 Days of Social & Digital Media

On this, the fourth day of social media and digital media, we bring you some practical and actionable advice from the PR SIG's Co-Chair, Ryan King, Director of Communications at Ogletree Deakins. This father of three highlights what he values in social and digital media and helps us understand how to look past the "creepy" to find ways to better provide improved client service through technology and digital media. 

What has shifted in the last 12 months in social & digital media?

In the B2B space, the march towards personalization quickened in 2016 with adoption becoming much more commonplace. I expect this to accelerate as clients continue to control the buying process at every stage. Attorneys and marketers must work alongside each other to understand their clients beyond past behavior and gut instinct. Using data available through web metrics, CRM and billing systems, and client feedback/surveys is a great place to start. Then, use this data to inform your content strategy.

Ryan King Quote 1

What has caught your eye recently as a smart use of social & digital media?

How “smart” lead generation is becoming. This is achieved by aligning compelling social posts/content on multiple social channels overlaid with personalization and CRM data. For example, I’m a dad to three little kids. A ton of information on parenting is available on social and digital media. So, how do I quickly find what I need? Like many, I’m going to social media. I’m always looking for articles that are short, very practical, and have links to more information on a particular topic. Mobile is a must! It’s a plus if there is a graphic, chart, or a visual way to display information. This combination of practical information, curated content (including multiple content types), and being mobile enabled produces a good experience for me that leads to increased purchase consideration.

It’s important to know when to inform and when to sell. Because levels of personalization and CRM data are in play, smart organizations know when to keep it informative and when the time is right to send me an offer.

Law firms should be no different, and the technology is available now for them to do this.

What’s the biggest challenge for law firms trying to be active in the social & digital media space, and how can they overcome it?

I sense that it is fear, a “creepy” factor (h/t Robert Algeri), and cost.

Fear is the unknown.

The “creepy” factor seems to be the knowledge that one can capture, analyze, and use data from multiple sources (CRM, billing, social media, etc.) without user/visitor knowledge in an effort to enhance relationships and grow the business. This is commonplace with retailers. We’ve all experienced it, and while I understand the reservation, I believe the benefits and opportunities far outweigh the timid mindset. Imagine that, based on their behavior, you know things about your clients and can proactively serve them with information right when they need it. Is that creepy or opportunistic with an eye towards value?

Cost is also a significant factor, especially when compared to some traditional marketing spends like accolades/profiles and advertising. However, I’ll bet that a modest reallocation of budget to fund either digital marketing technologies or projects will yield far more than those found in a traditional spend.

What’s the next big thing in social & digital media marketing for law firms for 2017?

Ryan King Quote 2Hopefully, it’s increased adoption in digital marketing technologies. Law firms largely remain laggards with social media, digital marketing, and the related technologies meant to provide actionable data and business intelligence. An increase in the use of visual storytelling (h/t Molly Porter and Stefanie Marrone) seems natural and a way to cut through the noise.

More importantly, we should no longer be listening for the faint sound of a whistle warning us that a train is coming down the tracks. Instead, that train is already barreling towards us, and in some cases has already passed. Marketers have the skills, desire, and drive to impact change in their firms through the use of digital marketing and related technology. Yet many are on the sidelines, and progress appears to be slow for those who are on the field. Vendors showcasing digital marketing technologies and tools want to help us succeed. After all, they already are in other B2B industries.

Ryan Kin


Ryan King has the unique experience of having worked in-house, in the media, and in a PR agency setting. As the Director of Communications, he leads and directs the public relations, media relations, communications, content marketing, and social media for Ogletree Deakins.


In case you missed it:

The 1st Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Karen Cariello of JD Supra

The 2nd Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Stefanie Knapp of Allen Matkins

The 3rd Day of Social & Digital Media, featuring Matt Parfitt of Vuture


Save The Date! 

Save the date for Tuesday, January 17, 1 PM CT/ 2 PM ET as the Social & Digital Media SIG is kicking off the new year by tackling an important issue. "Conquering the Generational Content Divide: What You Need to Know to Reach All Generations with Your Digital Content," with presenters Molly Miller, Chief Content Officer, ALM, Helen Bertelli, Vice President, Infinite Global Consulting, and new Social & Digital Media SIG co-chair, Karen Cariello, Vice President, JD Supra.  Register early so you can get this important webinar on your calendar!

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